Wetting

Wetting is the ability of a liquid to maintain contact with a solid surface, resulting from intermolecular interactions when the two are brought together. This happens in presence of a gaseous phase or another liquid phase not miscible with the first one. The degree of wetting (wettability) is determined by a force balance between adhesive and cohesive forces.

Water beads on a fabric that has been made non-wetting by chemical treatment.
Figure 1: Contact angle for a liquid droplet on a solid surface

Wetting is important in the bonding or adherence of two materials.[1] Wetting and the surface forces that control wetting are also responsible for other related effects, including capillary effects.

There are two types of wetting: non-reactive wetting and reactive wetting.[2][3]

Wetting deals with three phases of matter: gas, liquid, and solid. It is now a center of attention in nanotechnology and nanoscience studies due to the advent of many nanomaterials in the past two decades (e.g. graphene,[4] carbon nanotube, boron nitride nanomesh[5]).


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